An Enchanting Edwardian In Leslieville

offered at $795,000

If you’re looking for the best bang-for-your-buck location where you can stroll down the block and hop a streetcar that whisks you to the Financial Core, then you’ll love South Riverdale which runs east of the Don Valley. The exact neighbourhood boundary is a bit murky – given this area is jettisoning its South Riverdale moniker for the names ‘Riverside’ and ‘Leslieville’ which sound, shall we say, more ‘fresh’. And why not, when for a near century residents have been regarded as the poor sister to tony Riverdale proper whose boundary runs north from Gerrard Street East.

This name change is matching the pace of the neighbourhood’s revitalization which, I might add, has been a topic of fascination by urban academics for the past forty years. I know this from my own contribution to the research in the late 80s when I wrote an Urban Studies Thesis funded by The Ministry Of Municipal Affairs called “Gentrification: Yuppie Porn In South Riverdale”. The thesis, which included a comprehensive review of past research exploring the movement of middle class households into this former working class neighbourhood, also explored my early fascination with housing as a symbol of self. Not only did my Urban Studies thesis satisfy the requirements for degree accreditation, but it would propel me into graduate school, while serving my own vested interest in the neighbourhood. How so? South Riverdale was the location of my own first purchase back in 1986 when my partner and I bought a symphony-in-pink two bedroom semi on the very same street as this amazing listing.

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Welcome to 201 De Grassi Street.

Whether you are single, a couple or a young family who subscribe to a life that’s fresh and without pretense, you’ll love this area. South Riverdale has a real urban uniqueness, which is a product of its journey from poverty to popular over the past 40 years. There are vendors and eateries that are all different and expressive in their own right, but combine to deliver a subtle edge that is undeniably appealing, and rooted in character. This especially holds true for those who have grown weary of some Toronto’s more established affluent neighbourhoods which have become increasingly sanitized by ubiquitous chain restaurants, outlet retailers and predictable architecture.

This is also the ideal location for nature, water and fitness lovers; this property is just a short stroll, bike, or blade away from the sanctuary of the Leslie Spit and the recreation of The Beach. Imagine, a location with accessible cardio cleansing, contemplation, and day dreaming just steps from your door! And for those who have to hit the road and commute, there’s easy access to the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway.

This enchanting Edwardian residence, nestled on a historic tree-lined street home to a dynamic synergy of urban residents, offers four levels of finished living space. While it has all sorts of modern updates, we love how much of the original charm and character has been preserved. In a city where so many houses have been gutted into the ubiquitous open concept space plan, we believe it’s only a matter of time when vintage properties like this – with their formal rooms – become increasingly in demand and coveted.

We drool over the classic hall, original stair, and how the owners have flipped the dining room into the original parlour. Featuring lovely proportions, high baseboards and ceiling moldings, there’s an insouciant charm to all the original patina. The kitchen is ideal for the resident chef with quartz counters, a custom centre island, and stainless steel appliances. Plus there’s a bonus 2-piece thoughtfully tucked onto the entertainment level that is rare to find.

The second level has three well-proportioned bedrooms and a renovated bath. Fitted with soft broadloom underfoot, these private spaces for domestic bliss have that cozy get-away-from-it-all ambience. We especially adore the attic aerie tucked under the eaves. It offers a bonus room as-is, or the potential of upgrading with skylights, a walk-out or a significant renovation. For those seeking a property with a future upside, the potential of this third level is unlimited.

On the lower level, laundry facilities and a separate suite with a private entrance offers a non-legal income supplement for those seeking an opportunity to off set their mortgage. Or park your moody teen down here!

Having two car parking, a pretty landscaped garden with deck, and in overall good nick, this unique urban home is a solid opportunity for those looking to get into a highly coveted location.

Want to know more? Contact for more info!

Are you familiar with this location? Here’s our Neighbourhood Page on Leslieville / Riverside / South Riverdale, including our flavour video, the city census data on the area, plus several past blogs on area amenities!

Interested in how former working class neighbourhoods like South Riverdale have evolved? Here’s my past HomeWatch newsletter called Gentrification In The City: Understanding Rejuvenation of Inner City Neighbourhoods, providing more insight on Toronto real estate.